So, let's give it up for protein shakes: they have single-handedly kept me from suffering the effects of malnutrition for the last 4 weeks + 2 days.
Now that that's out of the way, let's have a chat about tomorrow, shall we?
I finally go in for my 2-week post-op exam tomorrow, the one that allows me to reintroduce "soft foods" into my diet. I quiver with antici-pation. (Either you get it, or you don't.) I never in my life would have believed that I could be this excited about the theoretical concept of eating a scrambled egg.
Lor's recovery was a bit different - she really did not feel she had "arrived" until 4 weeks out from surgery, where she was able to return to a diet of normal foods. For her, a trip to Trader Joe's where she bought the next week's worth of real food was her finish line. (Of course, she is still working on eating that week's worth of food, 4 weeks later. Adjustment to new portion size comes slowly.)
Somehow, for me, tomorrow feels like it will be a major accomplishment. Maybe because my tastes are a little broader than Lor's, or maybe I am just more desperate than she was. She spent her two weeks of soft foods living on refried beans and frittatas. Those will also be a part of my diet, of course, but I am really looking forward to so many other soft foods:
- Mashed potatoes (not normally part of the bariatric diet, but perfectly legal for the next two weeks.)
- Creamy Peanut Butter (OMG, peanut butter, how I have missed you.)
- Soups and Chowders (Clam Chowder, here I come!)
- Canned seafood, like tuna and salmon. (Yum!) Even canned chicken is legal, though I have always thought canned chicken smells like cat food, so I am less excited about it.
- Vegetables and fruits, reduced to the consistency of applesauce. So, baby food, essentially. But I can totally get behind some mashed bananas and pureed nectarines. Pureed broccoli or asparagus - maybe not so much.
- And, the big one for me, soft cheeses. I will learn to eat cottage cheese, but I already love ricotta on just about anything. Protein boost + taste - what is not to like?
I am not sure if things like egg salad or guacamole are legal, but I will be asking about them tomorrow for sure.
The other BIG re-addition to the diet? Spices! I can start using mustards, mayonnaise, peppers, salt, cayenne, hot sauce...you get the picture. Finally, tasting my food will return to my life even if crunch isn't due for another couple of weeks. I am definitely at the point now where it doesn't even matter which protein shake I get out of the fridge - they all taste pretty much the same anymore.
Now, as to the protein shake diet around the surgery, I have to say this: it works. The day I began the liquid diet I weighed 261 pounds. Yesterday I weighed in at 241.
20 pounds in 4 weeks works out to losing 5 pounds a week. Those numbers are nothing to take lightly. So, despite my threats to eat the dog, and desire to gnaw my own arm off, it was worth it in the long run. Thank goodness. I would hate to have gone through this and gained weight.
The Dog Would Have Been Too Stringy Anyway,